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Re: If not to Guild . . .

Thalia asks:
>          If I wanted to start a hypothetical group that would focus
>          on performing a craft, teaching others to do this craft and
>          recognizing those who do the craft -- all within the context
>          of the SCA -- then what would I call it besides The "Craft"
>          Guild?  Can you give me some alternatives?

Sure.  It depends upon the craft, of course.  Also, you have made some
assumptions about the focus that may or may not apply--you mention
performance, teaching, and recognition.  These do not have to be linked.
Recognition, for many crafts, need not be internal--the Pearl is a
fine Order, formed to recognize most things that we consider crafts
within this Kingdom.  Does there need to be an internal recognition
system?  Maybe, maybe not.  Also, there is, in many guilds, the
assumption that craft-skill and guild-management should be connected:
the Masters in the Guild are the ones who run it.  This, of course,
is a fallacious assumption.  The best managers are not always the
most skilled in the craft, and vice versa.

So before answering for any given case, I would ask myself--what do
we really NEED?

Jugglers "Guild": 
	NEED: to promote juggling, tumbling, slapstick physical
	entertainment (perhaps).
	Associated Needs: get involved with events that have an
	appropriate focus (a "Faire" atmosphere would be ideal),
	create such events, get a bunch of jugglers together for
	such events, teach juggling, do research.
So what would I advise such a group?  Research is personal.  Passing
on the information gained by research can be best done by a regular
newsletter.  Teaching juggling is best done at University Atlantia--you
need to get lots of walk-in students, and a "Guild" structure (formal
teaching relationship of Master-Apprentice) would hurt, not help, in
getting new students.  The newsletter, plus perhaps a phone-tree,
would allow mustering support for "Faire" events where there would
be lots of environment for juggling, tumbling, etc.
	The only thing that remains is to have a sense of identity.
This can be done with any name/livery/whatever.  You could call it
the Narrenschiff League (Narrenschiff = Ship of Fools, a very common
image in the sixteenth century), or Association, or Company, or Troupe.
Or you could find out who the patron saint of fools is, and use some
name connected to him or her.
	I would strongly advise against a hierarchical structure (Master
Journeyman/Apprentice)--this group would be best served with as much
flexibility as possible.  Let each Juggler gain respect in the group
and beyond according to the energy, skill, and enthusiasm they show,
and the amount of work they put in to helping the Narrenschiff Troupe.

Musicians (a local group)
	NEED: regular practices, consistent membership, etc.
Some structure is clearly necessary here.  You need to have someone
who runs things (organizes practices, runs the phone tree) and
your better musicians will have to help the poorer.  University of
Atlantia does not fill the teaching need enough, here, and you can't
use walk-ins at UA because they need to be from the local group or
they can't go to practices, etc.
	Calling this group a Guild is OK, but really serves no
purpose.  Since these people see each other regularly, they don't
really need a fancy name to reinforce their sense of identity with
the group.  Call them a Madrigal group, or "Music of Marinus" (to
use an example that were very active, and excellent, some seven
years ago, but have disappeared since), or whatever.

Merchants (sellers of variety goods at SCA events)
	Now THIS is a Guild.  A "Master" is anyone who owns their
own "store"; a "Journeyman" is anyone trusted enough to run the
store for their Master, and an "Apprentice" is any other employee.
"Journeyman" and "Apprentice" are jobs, not ranks.  Promotion is
NOT through the Guild, but by each Master individually.  Nobody
can promote someone to Master--the Guild can recognize a new
merchant (with his own goods) as a Master in the Guild if they
swear the secret oaths and promise to support the Guild, but it
doesn't matter if they are from outside the Guild or a Journeyman
who is breaking out on their own, their skill is irrelevant.

	NEEDS: well, the needs here are market-driven, really.
Students come to armourers if they want to make stuff, so there is
no need to recruit systematically.  Communication between armourers
goes in a very medieval manner--when an armourer sees armour made by
someone else he will examine it, and (if the maker is there) talk
about it.  Success doesn't need to be measured on any internal level--
in a very practical way, a Master is anyone who has tools and teaches,
and an Apprentice is anyone who makes stuff in the Masters shop.
Teaching occurs there, and cannot occur in any other place (beyond
simple talking) because of the constraints of the size and weight
of the tools and equipment, so University is not a good medium.
There is no need for a sense of identity--armourers already have
that.  So there is no need for any sort of a formal organization
of armourers at all, that I can see.

Tailors (those who make garb)
	This is pretty much like Armourers, except that teaching
can occur at University (the tools are more portable and more
widely available), and again there is no need for a formal structure
with internal ranks.  Tailors in the SCA gain respect in proportion
to the skill in their work, and the Pearl/Gold Dolphin/Laurel work
well enough to provide recognition.  Sense of identity is not
important here, although it might be for a more focussed group
(like a 1400-1420 sewing group).  But even there, a newsletter is
probably enough to fulfill the needs of communication and sense
of identity.

This has gone on long enough.  I'm sure other examples will occur
to everyone.  Wynn mentioned the Black Diamond group that waxed and
waned over a long time as membership shifted--they didn't call
themselves a Guild, and if they had invented any more structure
than they had, they might have injured the group (morally, Wynn;
not physically).  I've mentioned my Archer's Guild as a failed
group, although at least it served some long-term purpose.  If
I was to start something like that again, I would certainly think
three times before calling it a Guild and having three levels of
internal ranking.  (As a point of humour, some of the initial
proposals for the Archer's Guild included a very complex "experience
point" system with multiple levels, closer to D&D than anything
else.  I wasn't THAT stupid, though).